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What’s in a blog name?

You’re maybe wondering what happened to “artofgettingovaries.wordpress.com”…or why the URL is one thing and the blog title is another. Allow me to explain:

As my dissertation started shifting into a book (no pressure!)—tentatively titled Graffiti Grrlz: Performing Transnational Feminist Aesthetics in Hip Hop Culture—I decided I needed a new blog title too. Titles are my least favorite thing about writing (most of the time). Titles and names are so important; especially when you have to consider audience, search terms, relevance to the topic, specific twist of how you enter the topic, etc. The “art of getting ovaries,” was a play on graffiti terms (the art of getting over and the rhetoric around needing “balls” to paint graffiti) and a nod to one of my earliest collaborators Dona (NYC).

Dona_Art of Getting Ovaries

In my dissertation, I explained my title by making the argument that:

Dona’s modification of ‘the art of getting over’ isn’t simply a clever reference to the presumed “male” subject; it is also a feminist performance of difference that provokes recognition of her presence, a female presence, each time the image is viewed. The performative force of Dona’s utterance on the wall demonstrates the power of declaring, rather than erasing, difference. Without a declaration of gender difference, the gendered, racialized, and classed subject produced by the viewer’s imagination would conceal Dona as the one who “got up.” The default subject of Hip Hop’s cultural production is discursively removed from her painting—when the image circulates from one place to another (i.e. from the wall to the photograph to a website) the recognition for the doing (the getting up) returns properly to her feminist performance of gender difference.

And I like that. As much as I didn’t “like” having “ovaries” in my title, or “female” for that matter—because those terms reduce down to a limited conception of these writers based on biology—the whole point of my project is to examine gender difference in graffiti subculture in a way that everyone can understand it, as much as possible. As any intro to gender and women’s studies student can tell you: sex and gender are not the same thing, but the fact of that matter is that sexual difference goes hand in hand with the experience of gender difference. And the writers I study all experience/respond to/navigate being read as “female” and “women” in one way, shape, or form. There’s just no escaping that fact. Knowing that too much jargon—either subcultural or academic—would limit my reach, I kept “female” for the general public and “getting ovaries” for the subcultural public.

That title made sense to me, and it still does. But with the book project, and the continuation of this blog, I’ve spent a good deal of time struggling with terms and titles againI couldn’t decide. And further, I didn’t want to decide alone. Yes this is my blog and my research, but it wouldn’t be anything without the writers themselves. So, as I do, I asked Facebook:

YOUR OPINION NEEDED: I need to come up with a new name: “artofgettingovaries.wordpress.com” is too long and is also the title of my now-complete dissertation. I feel weird because I really want it to be “GraffGrrlz.com” (part of the title of my forthcoming book), BUT there was already a graffgrrlz.com years ago (that I actually write about in my book). SO it feels like it is not mine to use. So, do I: leave it; change it to graffgrrlz; or change it to something else (my name? feminismdoesthings.com?) If I change it to GraffGrrlz I can write about the previous website in the “about” section. It would be kind of like a nod to that time.

 graffgirlz

I think my favorite Facebook suggestion was given to me by my smart alec BFF Gary: fart.com that’s short for feminist art. Alas, Fart.com is taken. 😉

And then I emailed my go to Miss17 and we went back and forth for  a bit on the issue. Without going into specifics (there were a lot of IMs and emails exchanged), I thought it would be fun and informative to share some of the suggestions and conversations coming up with a title produced. 

What about art of getting ovaries.com? I like that. Nod to espo to Dona but I love word play. mAybe since it’s a new day..new name? also, i’m sure you know this, but ‘graffiti’ is a term coined by outsiders. those within the subculture refer to themselves as writers. 

i do love graffgrrlz more than artofgettingovaries.com, but it still doesn’t feel right. meh.

don’t be swayed by my or anyone elses opinion! Feminists have ideas…fuck the world if they don’t get it or don’t like it! U obvi dont like that. Lets figure out somEthing fresh and new…great ideas cannot be summoned…sometimes it takes time! LEts keep thinking till you’re all !!!! And not meh. Deal?

🙂 deal. the ovaries thing just reminds me of my dissertation. and the book is more. and bigger. but still part of that, obviously.

WAM…women aerosol makers. On the tag….a play on on the rag…tagging on the rag?

hmmm. my sister, the marketing guru, says it should have at least 1 search term like women graffiti artists or female graffiti artists.

What about something that isn’t obviously about women ..say a title that’s clearly graffiti related. Then once on the site it will be about the ladies..cause u know it’s so frustrating when people act like you’re just competing with the other girls or only notice u bc you’re a girl…..what do you think?

but that’s the thing. i want to direct and attract traffic in a way that IS obviously about women. not to insinuate they are only competing with other girls or only because they are girls, but just because we need more spaces specifically for the grrlz.

LOG…ladies of graffiti! Lol jk www, women wall writers.  I’ll have something not awful soon. wouldn’t your about section be googlable as well? Meaning you don’t have to have girl graffiti in actual address?

hahahahahah. LOG that’s so funny. despite the acronym, ladies of graff isn’t terrible. i wouldn’t use the acronym anyway. except the word “lady” has all sorts of weird implications much like ovaries. scott had a good idea: montana, krylon, ironlak…maybe something with paint names? icrygrapewriters cause you guys are the bestest! 🙂

bustoleum!

OMG YES! I LOVE THAT!

its kind of…awesome! rusto is the best and we got busts and bust

YES!

And that is how we named the blog. While I went with the search-friendly (but, let’s admit it, boring) URL http://www.jessicapabon.com, “Bustoleum” plays on a well known spray-paint brand, is action oriented,  and reminds me of a ClawMoney and Miss17 spread that Bust (one of my favorite feminist magazines) featured about a decade ago.

Claw and 17 in Bust Magazine

So welcome to Bustoleum: a blog about and dedicated to girls and women who write graffiti, written from a feminist perspective.

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